It should come as no surprise that Miami Heat‘s LeBron James has the top selling jersey in the world right now, but three years ago, that would be somewhat astonishing news.
When James appeared on ESPN’s “The Decision,” he went from being the most liked athlete in the NBA to one of the most hated. But three years change a lot of things. Two championships and two Finals MVPs later, and people seem to have forgiven and forgotten.
As Adidas released their global sales this past Tuesday, it showed that James beat out his top five competitors in Chicago Bulls‘ Derrick Rose, Los Angeles Lakers‘ Kobe Bryant, Oklahoma City Thunder‘s Kevin Durant and teammate Dwayne Wade for the top spot in the world.
James, who has the top-selling jersey in both the U.S. and Philippines, does not hold the top spot in China, Europe or Latin America, where the title goes to Rose. This is a somewhat surprising statistic as Rose was out for the entirety of last year with a knee injury.
ESPN Business Reporter Darren Rovell seems to think this is attributed to the colors of the Chinese flag and the nationalism associated with the color, as well as the fact that Michael Jordan was such a well-respected presence in China, so their people have just become used to the Bulls jersey.
However, the Heat’s home and alternate jersey are red and white just like the Chinese flag, so it seems somewhat auspicious that Rose is still the favorite in that country. It will be interesting to see who will have the upper hand on the court when these two top jersey sellers face off on opening night. My guess is that the top jersey seller in the world will show Rose why everyone wants his jersey.